Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community by Lucy Moore. Overflowing with creative ideas to draw the community together for fun, food, fellowship and worship, this resource book contains 15 themed programme outlines. Each outline has ideas for creative art and craft activities, meal plans and recipes for eating together and family-friendly worship.
Here's the second rather whimsical part of my Messy Theology pontifications so far. Fortunately, I get to have 24 hours with Martyn and Jane this week, so may well have more to add after that conversation.
Please chip in.
'Messy is best when it is like a piece of elastic: tied firmly to the centre and stretching out, distorting, wrinkling, changing shape and making ridiculous noises under strain in order to reach near and far but always springing back towards that centre and drawing others towards it.
Lucy writes: I could use some help. I'm trying to create some thinking around Messy Theology. I'm not a theologian and may be doing this all wrong, so please chip in with practical help if you can. I THINK it's about looking at theology through a lens of Messiness. Why do I want to do this? I'm interested to see whether a robust understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of a Messy approach might provide a safe space for churches to use in matters over which we disagree. Also, it's interesting, just for its own sake.
Sue Fulford writes: Messy Church Theology - what does this mean to you? Could you identify a theology from your own Messy Church experience? Having recently published a book of this title, we are always keen to gather in shared wisdom, experience and questioning from others - so do let us know your thoughts on the book or how you perceive the wider issue. Feedback, doubts, encouragements and insights from you are all grist to our mill!
Exploring the significance of Messy Church for the wider church
Messy Church Theology is the first title to encapsulate the academic theology of Messy Church. Through essays by contributors from a variety of church and academic backgrounds and case studies by Messy Church practitioners, it gathers together some of the discussions around Messy Church and assesses the impact of this ministry, placing it in the context of wider developments within the church community.
Alison Wooding asks for help:
I was just wondering if there is any chance you could email (or blog?) Messy Church leaders/preachers for me to ask them how they explain salvation/the work of Christ on the cross. Do they favour a certain atonement model and what craft and or visual aid would/do/did they use for the talk?'
Do email her if you have any cross illustrations.
Our own Messy Church is enjoying the sessions of Authorised Mess this year, with brief excursions to celebrate Christian festivals in season, and on Thursday we arrived at Leviticus. Now, one issue that some people seem to have with Messy Church is that we're just church-lite, spooning out easy meat and ignoring the tough stuff in Christianity, making it all fluffy and frothy and fun. And I'm sure there are some Messy Churches who do so. Ours isn't one of them.
Mary Hawes sent through this blog from Heather Zempel with some thoughts about mess in general in a godly context. I think my posture (point 1 below) is that of instigator, as Heather would agree if she could see my desk at the mo. Heather writes:
'There’s always a connection between mess and transformation, mess is the environment in which the greatest transformation usually occurs.